Video Podcast – Florida Gun Law Trashes Bill of Rights

by: Brent Smith at the Common Constitutionalist

Florida governor Rick Scott signed the school safety bill into law. Let us be frightened. It will allow certain school staff to conceal carry on school grounds and that’s good. The only safe school is a hardened school. However, we need to come up with a “softer” way to describe it – other than “hardened.”

Unfortunately, it also spends recklessly with its arbitrary allotment of $300 million for mental health programs, school resource officers (because they did such a good job last time), and safety upgrades.

The biggest problem with this law is as Glenn Beck recently described it – the law nullifies one Amendment of the Bill of Rights for all persons in Florida under the age of 21. This should never be allowed to stand, under any circumstances.
read more

Thank Heavens for the Bill of Rights

by: the Common Constitutionalist

The Republicans in the Senate do occasionally find their backbones and were able to display them as they rejected four pieces of anti-gun legislation. Thank you Republicans and thank you founders for giving us the Bill of Rights.

Given the current state of the federal leviathan, imagine the condition of our individual and states’ rights without the specific declaration of those protections against federal intrusion. Turns out the anti-federalists were right to insist on a Bill of Rights!

We would have no right to own or carry a weapon of any kind without the language expressed in the Second Amendment. We on the right would have nothing specific to argue against the gun-grabbers of the left. For decades we have debated the language and meaning of the Second Amendment, but without it, our argument would be relegated to the abstract, for nowhere else does the Constitution specifically address this right. Given the nature of today’s courts – that would not be nearly enough. Thanks to George Mason and the anti-federalists, we at least have the Amendment specifying this natural right.

Our freedom of speech, assembly, religion, etc. would all be substantially abridged, if not for the First Amendment. We would have virtually no states’ rights left without the Tenth – and so on. read more

The Individual Right To Keep and Bear Arms

by: the Common Constitutionalist

In Texas, 1999, a U.S. District Judge, Sam Cummings ruled in a domestic abuse case that the second amendment guaranteed an individual the right to keep and bear Arms.

There was naturally blowback from this decision. His detractors claimed he neglected to follow usual judicial practice. You see, his sin was not citing supremelegal precedent to support his decision.

That one sentence clearly defines a major problem in this country, run by pinhead lawyers – so full of arrogance that they think themselves and their court decisions superior to the Constitution and the founders. By citing only court precedent instead of original intent one bad decision leads to another and so on.

Some legal pinheads might cite the Supreme Court case U.S. v Miller (1939) wherein the court ruled the Second Amendment’s “obvious purpose… Was to assure the continuation and render possible the effectiveness of the state militia” (the National Guard). In the early 1980s, the Illinois Supreme Court as well as the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that there was no right for individuals to keep and bear Arms in the second amendment.

Now I’m not a constitutional scholar or great jurist with an army of researchers, but I can read. read more

Catholics Deal With the Devil

Excerpts from Paul A. Rahe’s article titled: American Catholicism’s Pact With the Devil

One might say that the Catholic Church itself laid the groundwork for the recent firestorm they find themselves embroiled in. I speak, of course, of the battle royal between the Church and the Obama administration over what they claimed to be “Women’s Healthcare”.

Now, just as the whites of today cannot be held to account for slavery, Catholics leaders of today cannot be accountable for their past leaders. Or can they?

It might be instructive to add some historical perspective to this dilemma.

In the burgeoning American republic, the principle of limited government was codified in its purest form in the First Amendment to the Constitution. But it had additional ramifications as well – for the government’s scope was limited also in other ways.

 There were other amendments that made up what we call the Bill of Rights, and many of the states prefaced their constitutions with bills of rights or added them as appendices. These were all intended to limit the scope of the government. They were all designed to protect the right of individuals to life, liberty, the acquisition and possession of property, and the pursuit of happiness as these individuals understood happiness. Put simply, liberty of conscience was part of a larger package.

This is what the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church forgot.

In the 1930s, the majority of the bishops, priests, and nuns sold their souls to the devil, and they did so, as is usual, with the best of intentions.

Due to their concern during the Depression, for the suffering of those out of work and destitute, they wholeheartedly embraced the New Deal. They gloried in the fact that Franklin Delano Roosevelt made Frances Perkins, a devout Anglo-Catholic laywoman who belonged to the Episcopalian Church but retreated on occasion to a Catholic convent, Secretary of Labor and the first member of her sex to be awarded a cabinet post.

They welcomed Social Security, which was her handiwork. They did not stop to ponder whether public provision in this regard would subvert the moral principle that children are responsible for the well being of their parents. They did not stop to consider whether this measure would reduce the incentives for procreation and nourish the temptation to think of sexual intercourse as an indoor sport. They just did not stop to think of any potential consequences.

In the process, the leaders of the American Catholic Church fell prey to that which had long before ensnared a great many mainstream Protestants in the United States. That of the notion that public provision is somehow akin to charity and so they fostered state paternalism and undermined what they professed to teach: that charity is an individual responsibility and that it is appropriate that the laity join together under the leadership of the Church to alleviate the suffering of the poor.

In its place, they helped establish the Machiavellian principle that underpins modern liberalism, the belief that it is our Christian duty to confiscate other people’s money and redistribute it.

At every turn in American politics since that time, you will find the Catholic hierarchy assisting the Democratic Party and promoting the growth of the administrative entitlement state. It did not cross the minds of the hierarchy, that the paternalistic state they had embraced, would someday turn on the Church and seek to dictate how it would conduct its affairs.

The weapon that Barack Obama has directed at the Church was fashioned to a considerable degree by Catholic churchmen. They welcomed Obamacare. They encouraged Senators and Congressmen who professed to be Catholics to vote for it.

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has lost much of its moral authority.

In 1973, when the Supreme Court made its decision in Roe v. Wade, had the bishops, priests, and nuns screamed bloody murder and declared war, as they have recently done, the decision would have been reversed. Instead, under the leadership of Joseph Bernadin, the Cardinal-Archbishop of Chicago, they asserted that the social teaching of the Church was a “seamless garment,” and they treated abortion as one concern among many.

Here is what Cardinal Bernadin said in the Gannon Lecture at Fordham University that he delivered in 1983:

“Those who defend the right to life of the weakest among us must be equally visible in support of the quality of life of the powerless among us: the old and the young, the hungry and the homeless, the undocumented immigrant and the unemployed worker.

Consistency means that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot urge a compassionate society and vigorous public policy to protect the rights of the unborn and then argue that compassion and significant public programs on behalf of the needy undermine the moral fiber of the society or are beyond the proper scope of governmental responsibility.” 

The truth is that the priests in the United States are far more likely to push the “social justice” agenda of the Church from the pulpit than to instruct the faithful in the evils of abortion.

And there is more. Paul has not once, in the thirteen years of attending mass, heard the argument against contraception articulated from the pulpit, nor has he once heard the argument for chastity articulated. In the face of the sexual revolution, the bishops, priests, and nuns of the American Church have by and large fallen silent. In effect, they have abandoned the moral teaching of the Roman Catholic Church in order to articulate a defense of the administrative entitlements state and its progressive expansion.

Those who seek to create heaven on earth and who, to this end, subvert the liberty of others and embrace the administrative entitlement state will sooner or later become its victims.